Code of the District of Columbia

§ 21–2044. Findings; order of appointment.

(a) The court shall exercise the authority conferred in this subchapter so as to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence of the incapacitated individual. The court, on appropriate findings, may appoint a limited guardian, a temporary guardian, or a general guardian. When the court appoints a guardian, it shall appoint the type of guardianship that is least restrictive to the incapacitated individual in duration and scope, taking into account the incapacitated individual’s current mental and adaptive limitations, the incapacitated individual’s ability to improve his or her condition, or other conditions warranting the appointment.

(b) The court may appoint a guardian as requested if it is satisfied that the individual for whom a guardian is sought is incapacitated and that the appointment is necessary as a means of providing continuing care and supervision of the person of the incapacitated individual. The court, on appropriate findings, may:

(1) Treat the petition as a petition for a protective order under section 21-2051 and proceed accordingly;

(2) Enter any other appropriate order; or

(3) Dismiss the proceedings.

(c) The court, at the time of appointment, later on its own motion, or on appropriate petition or motion of the incapacitated individual or other interested person, may limit the powers of a guardian otherwise conferred by this chapter and create a limited guardianship. Any limitation on the statutory power of a guardian of an incapacitated individual shall be endorsed on the guardian’s letters. Following the same procedure, a limitation may be removed or modified and appropriate letters issued.

(d) While a petition for appointment of a guardian is pending, after a preliminary hearing, and without notice to others, the court may preserve and apply the property of the individual to be protected as may be required for support of the individual or dependents of the individual.


(Feb. 28, 1987, D.C. Law 6-204, § 2(a), 34 DCR 632; Oct. 22, 2008, D.C. Law 17-249, § 2(e), 55 DCR 9206; Mar. 11, 2015, D.C. Law 20-230, § 2(e), 62 DCR 278.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 21-2044.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 21-2011, § 21-2047, and § 21-2210.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-249 rewrote subsec. (a), which had read as follows: “(a) The court shall exercise the authority conferred in this subchapter so as to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence of the incapacitated individual and make appointive and other orders only to the extent necessitated by the incapacitated individual’s mental and adaptive limitations or other conditions warranting the procedure.”

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-230 substituted “incapacitated individual’s current mental and adaptive limitations, the incapacitated individual’s ability to improve his or her condition” for “incapacitated individual’s current mental and adaptive limitations” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-480, September 25, 2006, 53 DCR 7940).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-566, December 19, 2006, 53 DCR 10272).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-161, October 18, 2007, 54 DCR 10932).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-245, January 23, 2008, 55 DCR 1230).

For temporary (90 day) amendment, see § 2(e) of Health-Care Decisions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-492, August 4, 2008, 55 DCR 9167).

Temporary Legislation

Section 2(e) of D.C. Law 16-194 amended (a) to read as follows:

“(a) The court shall exercise the authority conferred in this subchapter so as to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence of the incapacitated individual. The court, on appropriate findings, may appoint a limited guardian, a temporary guardian, or a general guardian. When the court appoints a guardian, it shall appoint the type of guardianship which is least restrictive to the incapacitated individual in duration and scope, taking into account the incapacitated individual’s current mental and adaptive limitations or other conditions warranting the procedure.”

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 16-194 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Section 2(e) of D.C. Law 17-100 amended subsec. (a) to read as follows:

“(a) The court shall exercise the authority conferred in this subchapter so as to encourage the development of maximum self-reliance and independence of the incapacitated individual. The court, on appropriate findings, may appoint a limited guardian, a temporary guardian, or a general guardian. When the court appoints a guardian, it shall appoint the type of guardianship that is least restrictive to the incapacitated individual in duration and scope, taking into account the incapacitated individual’s current mental and adaptive limitations or other warranted conditions.”

Section 6(b) of D.C. Law 17-100 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Uniform Law: This section is based upon § 2-206 of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act (1982 Act).